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Dad Leaves Toddler Twins in Hot Minivan for 3.5 Hours

The tragedy unfolded at a Honda dealership in Alabama
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2019 4:45 PM CDT
Minivans are seen on a lot in this file photo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(Newser) – In another hot-car tragedy, an Alabama father left his 11-month old twins in a minivan for nearly 3 1/2 hours—and the result was not good, AL.com reports. Police officers and firefighters responded to his 911 call Friday at the Honda dealership in Oxford where he works. "He is a father who was distraught," says Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge. The boy was soon pronounced dead at a hospital, but his sister is doing OK. "All indications seem that this is a tragic accident," a coroner tells WIAT. "No one can fathom the way this family feels, and I especially want to make sure that people are sympathetic to this family and that they get all the facts before they pass judgment." The temperature in Oxford was 91 degrees at the time, Partridge tells CNN.

"It's a scene you don’t want to respond to," adds the police chief, who says the case is being investigated. "It's one of those things that will stay with you for the rest of your life." He's far from alone: Such scenes reached an all-time high last year, with 54 children suffering hot-car deaths nationwide; KidsandCars.org says 889 children died in hot cars between 1990 and 2018, per the Detroit Free Press earlier this month. Trade groups representing major US car manufacturers say they're making rear-seat reminder systems standard by 2025—and some cars already have it—but advocates say voluntary agreements aren't enough. The Hot Cars Act, which would mandate such equipment, is sitting before both houses in Congress, per Consumer Reports. (Another hot-car victim was a "miracle baby.")

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